Continuity With Other Web Properties

One thing which web designers sometimes overlook in their day-to-day tasks is making sure that the main website has continuity with the other web properties which, oftentimes, serve as the “first face” for the business.  What this means is that prospective customers/clients may be introduced to the company (or brand) through a web property which is NOT the company’s website.

Here are some examples of the categories of web properties, trusted by prospective customers, which are not the company’s primary website:

  • Niche or local online forums
  • Classified ad websites
  • Traditional social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Shared videos such as those found on YouTube
  • Press releases
  • A guest post article on a relevant website
  • Industry association website directory
  • Review site like Yelp
  • Many others

 

In many businesses, small and large, the decision makers often split up website design and the online marketing staff members or outsourcing firms.  These executives may have been led to believe that the website is more of an artistic expression as well as a web property which is more technical.  The online marketing team, however, usually is considered to be more focused on new business generation and client management.  The executives, however, should make sure that “the left hand is talking to the right hand” and that there is consistency across these various web properties.

Here are just a few things which can be done:

  • Consistent logos when a logo is permitted and considered to be appropriate
  • Consistent phone numbers and/or contact persons (or department)
  • All properties should link to the website and any permitted social media, video and other associated web properties
  • Consistent use of slogans, list of benefits, or other calls-to-action when appropriate to post
  • All approved team members should have access to the login/password information, with the necessary safeguards
  • Removing the likelihood of duplicate company profiles on the same web platform
    • A common culprit is having multiple Google Plus profiles for the business, and this gets difficult to “unsnarl” when 3 or more such profile pages start to appear
    • The same happens with Facebook business pages vs. fan pages
  • Making sure that the e-mail contact on the website for prospective customers is the same on the other web properties, unless there are deliberate reasons for the contacts to be different
  • Making sure that sub-services (niches) line up consistently such as what is mentioned on the website (like here) is in alignment with the Google Plus (Google My Business), Facebook business page, LinkedIn company page, and others
  • Making sure that sub-properties within a main property also have consistency
    • A good example is the description of a YouTube playlist matches up with the “About” page on the channel which, in turn, lines up with what is being promoted on the main website (example here)
  • Tying consistent messaging between the website, other web properties and any e-mail newsletters sent out by the company

 

Again, this is just a starting list.  There are many other situations where the web design team and the online marketing team can be at completely different ends of the spectrum in terms of what the prospective customer sees.  Do what you can to make sure that both sides work together to have consistent messaging, and you just may notice some sort of increase in the conversion rate for those being exposed to you for the first time to become customers.

Feel free to contact us with your question.

 

Unexpected New Website Challenges

When you are creating a new website, or taking over to maintain and slightly modify an existing website, you tend to have an idea of the typical challenges you might face.  The trick becomes some of the challenges you DON’T expect, and those can create delays, technical problems, loss of traffic and other consequences.

Here are some of the unexpected challenges you might run into, beyond the typical challenges you likely know how to address, based on some Dallas Fort Worth companies web properties in recent months:

  • Sitemap issues which prevent the search engines from crawling all pages of the website.  Therefore new content doesn’t get crawled (indexed) as quickly, and new algorithm updates might even hinder otherwise-favorable search rankings.  Adding a 3rd party XML sitemap might do the trick, but you will have to test to determine if indexing happens quickly and will be sustainable for the long term
  • Taking over a PHP website which wasn’t mobile friendly.  Simply adding mobile viewport code to each page usually isn’t sufficient as navigation bars, headers/footers, and other web elements can prove to be troublesome
  • Startup B2B websites which are going to start as a result of an employee wanting to leave current employment.  The drawback here isn’t so much technical as it is the inability to get unique photos and videos for your website and social (video) properties.  Likely the unique content, that makes the employee think he/she can go out on his/her own, mostly is going to be the copyright or other intellectual property of the current employer.  You will need to scour the stock photo websites (free or paid) for a while in order to get some sort of samples of photos or videos to use as your starting multimedia for the website.
  • Getting the client to have at least basic, consistent information on related web properties like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even industry directory sites like this one.  Sometimes you will run into information that was created by other companies and you can run into these kinds of problems which – amazingly – get blamed on you even though they happened long before you showed up on the scene:
    • Wrong address, phone number and website information
    • Misspellings of names
    • Content which isn’t compliant with state or national regulatory agencies
    • Contact information going to those who no longer work for the company, or even are now direct competitors
    • Etc.
  • If you have a client who is using a current or new website as a sales tool to generate leads for a parent company, often there can be these kinds of problems:
    • Discrepancies of messages between the sales professional and the parent company
    • Promises which can’t be kept
    • The parent company wanting access to the website or at least being copied on the leads generated
    • The sales professional, in pursuit of getting new prospective clients quickly, may wish to engage in black hat tactics that neither you nor the parent company would deem to be good business

These are just of the unexpected challenges, both technical and “real world”, that you may encounter.  They are presented here so that you can study solutions ahead of time so that you can best serve your client or employer when doing any form of web design or web marketing for any third party.  Feel free to leave your thoughts on other challenges to address.  Thank you.